Although the kitchen is primarily a functional space to prepare meals, it is much more than a place to cook. Today’s timber frame kitchen is a multi-purpose area that often acts as an informal dining room, office, study area, play area and living space. With so many functions, it’s important to design and decorate this space in a way that makes it a comfortable and inviting area for everyone in the family.
Your Timber Frame Kitchen – A Place For The Chef
As far as functionality is concerned, your timber frame home’s kitchen is just like any other kitchen and requires the same design considerations. Plan your work area with the traditional triangle to minimize the cook’s steps and maximize efficiency.
Once you have the basic floor plan for the working portion of your kitchen, you can start choosing the style of cabinetry and select the floor, counter and wall finishes. Appliance finishes should harmonize with your kitchen’s decorating style. Since a timber frame home typically has an open floor plan, you should have plenty of room to accommodate the cooks in your household, as well as various other family activities.
Space For The Entire Family
An island is a great way to increase your prep work area, as well as provide a space for informal dining and an area to work on projects, do homework and gather for socializing. It also can delineate the space between the family room or dining room.
A small desk area functions as a command post. It can act as a message center for family communications and a place to organize household paperwork and other information.
If the kitchen is adjacent to an exterior door, you should plan a mud room to accommodate family gear. A bench for putting on shoes and an area for hanging coats, scarves, hats and bags are convenient for the entire family. Providing individual storage, such as baskets, cubbies or shelves for each member of the family, makes finding personal items simple. A space for shoes keeps clutter down and minimizes the ongoing “I can’t find my shoes” refrain.
A comfortable couch, chairs, stools or other seating encourages family and friends to congregate in the kitchen. Accessorize the seating with tables and ample lighting to give the space a homey feel.
Choose Your Decorating Style
Whether you choose a country look, Early American, Shabby-Chic or contemporary style for your kitchen, fill it with comfort and things you love. There’s a wealth of choices for today’s kitchen in cabinetry, floor coverings, counter tops and back splashes.
Using a variety of finishes and materials adds texture and interest to your room. Choose a color theme you love, and play with combinations of materials, color tones and accessories to create a visually appealing and welcoming space.Consider non-standard items that might fit with your design and lifestyle. An old sideboard can be re-purposed with a granite top for a charming island. A vintage hutch can serve as storage for cooking supplies or small appliances. A mechanic’s rolling tool cabinet provides plenty of storage space and looks great in a contemporary stainless kitchen.
Make The Most Of Lighting
Lighting for your kitchen should be varied and plentiful. Using a variety of lighting styles helps to make the space more functional for various activities. Puck lights, pendant lights, sconces, chandeliers, under-cabinet lights and recessed lighting are available for every decorating style.
Use task lighting to provide the cook with ample illumination in the prep and cooking areas of the kitchen. Use soft, overall lighting to give a warm glow to your kitchen when it’s been transformed into a gathering spot for food and conversation. If you incorporate an island into the kitchen, make sure to have good lighting overhead for doing homework and working on projects.
Your lighting design should be flexible to meet the needs of cooking, relaxing, study, play and entertaining.
Your kitchen is a reflection of you and your family. Make it a space where people congregate and linger long and often. It’s the heart of the home, so make it an open and welcoming space with careful consideration and thoughtful planning.